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Using cutting-edge technologies, researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, have developed the first genome-wide dataset on protein translation during fibroblast activation, revealing a network of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that play a key role in the formation of disease-causing fibrous tissue in the heart.
Heart disease remains the most common cause of death in the western world, and cardiac defects are the most prevalent form of birth defect in the United States and Europe. Yet little is known about the proteins and cellular pathways that lead to the formation of the human heart or the roles various proteins and pathways might play in cardiac disease. Now, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Princeton University scientists have found that unique sets of proteins and pathways present in specific animal models commonly used in research are also present and mutated in human disease.
The biggest risks for cardiovascular disease are smoking and poor diet. However, different people are more susceptible to heart disease based on very slight differences in their genes, called variants. While there have been many studies that have linked variants to cardiovascular traits, it's unclear whether these variants have functional consequences, like altered gene or protein expression. In a new study from the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research at Thomas Jefferson University, researchers have discovered two slight gene variations that may modulate the behavior of platelet cells, and subsequently affect the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Across cultures, 2% to 10% of people report having same-sex relations. In the U.S., 1% to 2.2% of women and men, respectively, identify as gay. Despite these numbers, many people still consider homosexual behavior to be an anomalous choice. However, biologists have documented homosexual behavior in more than 450 species, arguing that same-sex behavior is not an unnatural choice, and may in fact play a vital role within populations.
International uproar followed the recent birth of the first babies created from embryos whose genomes had been edited with a breakthrough technology. Another scientist has announced the intention to create more gene-edited babies. The potential uses of gene-editing technologies such as Crispr-Cas9 are unprecedented in human history: they can make genetic alterations that would be passed down to future generations.
A tumor-targeted CRISPR gene editing system, encapsulated in a nanogel and injected into the body, could effectively and safely halt the growth of triple-negative breast cancer, report researchers at Boston Children's Hospital. Their proof-of-principle study, conducted in human tumor cells and in mice, suggests a potential genetic treatment for triple-negative breast cancer, which has the highest mortality rate of all breast cancers.
Researchers from Osaka University, in cooperation with the Institute for Clinical Research and medical institutes participating in the Kansai Molecular Diagnosis Network for CNS Tumors (KNBTG), conducted the largest-ever retrospective cohort study for Japanese patients with glioblastoma (GBM), proposing an underlying prognosis biomarker responsible for the survival difference between two cohorts: an original Japanese cohort and a dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).
Few people get their level of uric acid, a breakdown product of metabolism, measured in their blood. Based on Buck research published August 15 in PLOS Genetics, it might be time to rethink that, given that 20 percent of the population have elevated levels of uric acid, increasing their risk for gout, kidney stones, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and early death.
Immunotherapeutic drugs are a potent way of transforming the immune system into a ferocious guard dog that can sniff out and destroy tumor cells. But for some therapies, it helps to have a leash. Without one, immunotherapies can do their job too well, stimulating the immune system to overreact, causing systemic toxicity.

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